On August 25, 2018, Senator John McCain passed away after a courageous battle with brain cancer. His memorial service was held at the Washington National Cathedral. He was four days short of 82 years old at the time of his passing. At his service was his Mother, age 106. She is still alive at 107. What struck me about her age, was the thought that people are indeed living longer. I have studied the aging process my entire career, and now call my practice—”Healthy Longevity Dentistry”.
The Four Pillars of Health
I urge patients to be mindful of their health balance. I use a diagram with four categories: Nutrition, Exercise, Spirit, and Rest/Recovery.
Nutrition: Eat a balanced diet of foods that your body can recognize. Vegetables, lean meats and fish, fruits, plenty of water, and a minimum of “Modern foods”. Modern foods would mean refined sugars, carbohydrates, and man-made processed foods. The closer we can get to an ancient Hunter/Gatherer diet, the better.
Exercise: I have a saying that I tell myself: Unless there is a particularly good reason not to exercise on any given day, I better do it. It does not have to be extreme, just consistent.
Our Spirit: Everybody is different in how they renew their Spirit. Some may be formally religious, others may read a good book, music can be a refuge, or a simple stroll can be a delight. Take an hour each day to put away your worries and revive your Spirit.
Rest and Recovery: If you don’t sleep well, you will eventually get sick. We help many sleep better with technologies and techniques to breathe better at night. Rest and recovery can also mean to take a day off after a physically or mentally challenging previous day.
I have just discussed four pillars of life balance. Now, modern science is showing us that there is an extremely important risk factor that we need to know about.
Control of Inflammation and Infection
The oral cavity is a very diverse bacterial environment. When a mouth is inflamed from infection (gum bleeding/discharge), microbes (bacteria) pour into the bloodstream. These microbes trigger an immune response from white blood cells and a host of other immune cells. The fight takes place in the whole body, not just the mouth. Research has shown uncontrolled infection and inflammation that goes into the bloodstream is connected to many serious diseases. Stroke, heart attack, cancer, Alzheimer’s dementia, diabetes and arthritis are all influenced by chronic inflammation. Periodontal infection can be unhealthy for pregnancy.
ABC, Advanced Bacterial Control
My practice has been committed to Advanced Bacterial Control for some time now with tremendous results. The goal is No infection, No inflammation! How do we achieve this? First, you need a clean start. If your teeth roots are dirty below the gum-line, you can’t control the infection/inflammation. The stain and build-up (tartar) harbors bacteria. Think of it like having an infected splinter in your hand, you need to remove the splinter to heal. You need to remove the stain and build-up (tartar) from the infected gum pocket. We use a Diode laser to heal the gum tissues.
Next, you need to give yourself great homecare in the morning and evening every day. You need these tools:
Morning and evening use the Sonicare toothbrush for the full two-minute cycle.
Follow this with careful flossing of each in-between root surface. Avoid Glide floss, it is too slippery to clean well.
Flush in-between and around the teeth with warm water. The Waterpik can be directed in-between the teeth to flush out food particles. It can also be directed into the gum crevice to flush bacteria away. Be gentle but thorough.
My patients often remark about how great a clean and healthy mouth feels. The freshness of breath is confidence inspiring when close to others. Another key to ABC – Advanced Bacterial Control, is to prescribe the proper interval for cleaning and polishing. It is so much better to stay ahead of infection/inflammation than to wait too long for follow-up. Even with the best of homecare, some stain and build-up (tartar) can re-occur.
ABC, Advance Bacterial Control also has the delightful benefit of saving your teeth and gums. You will look good, feel good, chew well, staying away from pain and tooth loss.
We would love to see you at our office. Thanks for reading.
Gary E. Hagen, D.D.S.